Adam Simon

Executive Director, Aviv Foundation

Adam Simon is the Executive Director of the Aviv Foundation which seeks to empower people with opportunities to improve their lives. Aviv seeks to promote deep Jewish engagement for individuals in inclusive communities, expand peace between Israelis and Palestinians, strengthen a shared identity and opportunities for Israeli Jews to explore Judaism, promote civic engagement in the U.S., and support disadvantaged children within the welfare and education systems. Simon also serves as political philanthropy consultant to the principals of the Aviv Foundation.

Previously, Simon worked at the Schusterman Family Foundation (2008-2016), launching integrated funding, thought leadership, and digital communications strategies in Jewish life. Simon also led efforts to recruit, develop, and retain exceptional professional and volunteer leaders; and implemented a network of 500+ values-driven social change leaders. Earlier, Simon was Executive Director of the Northwestern University Hillel Jewish Student Center (2005-2008).

His contributions to the field of philanthropy include presentations for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Jewish Funders Network, as well as board service, committee leadership, and technical assistance for numerous national and local organizations. Simon is a member of the Leap Ambassadors, a network of social change leaders seeking to maximize impact by focusing on data, leadership, and evidence. He is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education, is a regular lecturer at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, and has contributed to numerous publications.

Adam Simon attended Washington University in St. Louis, earning both a B.A. and an MBA. He lives outside Washington, DC with his wife and is the father of two amazing children.


Meeting the Moment Part One: Philanthropic Vehicles to Fund Democracy

Posted on December 4, 2023 by Dr. Lourdes Rodríguez, Kathleen Doffermyre, Estevan Muñoz-Howard, Adam Simon

What are the models and vehicles available for investing in and strengthening democracy? How are family philanthropies using them successfully? This webinar will equip participants with an understanding of the types of vehicles and strategies that can be used to fund this work. You will hear from family foundations with direct experience funding in this area, including the Aviv Foundation,… Read More

The First Year in the Life of a New Executive Director

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Adam Simon, John Hicks, Laura McCargar, Sharmila Rao Thakkar

How can your board develop a transition plan to maximize your new or incoming executive director’s prospects for success? What is the board and board chair’s role in orienting the new CEO? What tips do successful freshman CEO’s have for developing strong board/staff relations; setting boundaries; learning more about the community and causes served by the foundation; and understanding and… Read More

What Has Been the Impact of Your Fellowship Programs to the Communities You Fund? and Have You Been Able to Measure That Impact?

Posted on July 23, 2015 by Adam Simon, Monisha Kapila, Susan Dobkins

This month we are delighted to feature a question recently asked during our July webinar, Fellowship programs: Honoring family legacy and building future community leaders. This webinar highlighted the benefits and impact fellowship programs have on not only community members, but also the family foundation. Fellowship programs can be a complementary program to your grantmaking that honors the legacy of a loved one and encourages further collaboration efforst with community leaders. The featured presenters are Adam Simon from the Schusterman Foundation, Susan Dobkins and Dion Rurik from The Russell Family Foundation, and Monisha Kapila from ProInspire… Read More
Voices from the Field

Ready: Invest! Set: Customize! Go: Impact!

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Adam Simon

What would it take to create a core of exceptional leaders equipped with the tools and capacity to be effective change agents, networked to maximize the reverberation of their leadership and committed to doing so for their entire lives? At the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, this question is at the core of our mission to empower young people to make a positive impact in their communities. In all of our focus areas, we create and support initiatives that invest in strengthening the leadership potential of individuals, as we believe the key to solving our most intractable societal issues lies in the strength of the leaders that spearhead such changes. … Read More